The Last Dance has been one of the most watched Netflix TV series’ of the year, and will be talked about for years to come. The story follows the career of basketball legend Michael Jordan, charting his rise through the ranks, into the NBA up until the end of his career when he retired with six NBA Championships to his name.
Jordan’s incredible talent was on show, but alongside that we saw inside the life of a man who desperately wanted to be a winner. This wasn’t just on the court either, and part of this was the revelations surrounding Jordan’s incredible gambling habits that were aired on the documentary.
How Did Michael Jordan Gamble?
Jordan gambled in a way that is different to what we see today. For anyone wanting to gamble now, there is a list of betting sites you can use online. Jordan didn’t have that luxury. Instead he would play cards on the team flights, reportedly playing against anyone regardless of the stake size.
He also loves to bet on himself to win at golf. Many people have come out and said this, both on the documentary and when being asked about it. Lastly, he would love to visit a casino, it was a way for him to escape the pressures of his career and enjoy himself.
Why Did He Visit a Casino During the 93 Playoffs?
One of the biggest gambling stories during the documentary was Jordan’s trip to the casino on the eve of a huge Eastern Conference playoff game against the New York Knicks. This broke team lockdown rules and is seen as something you wouldn’t do ahead of a huge game, regardless of who you are, but especially if you are Michael Jordan.
Reports at the time said that Jordan was out and spotted at 2:30am inside the casino, though during the documentary, his father who was with him on the trip said that Jordan was back at the hotel and in bed by 1am.
Does Jordan Believe He Has a Gambling Problem?
The issue Jordan admits to having is a competitive problem. He openly admits that he wants to take people on and win, adding money to that in the form of gambling only gives him more incentive to do so. We also saw an emotional side of Jordan in the series, and many of his highs off the court came because of gambling wins.
When on the team flight, he was seen playing blackjack at the back of the plane for huge sums of money, and would take that as seriously as a game at the front of the plane where the stakes were $1 per hand.
Jordan always backed himself to win, and that transferred to the golf course, where he would place bets on himself to win holes and rounds against other people. However, one thing he says never happened was betting on basketball games.
For a brief moment, the superstar was interviewed by the league and asked about his gambling, and they found nothing to suggest that Jordan placed bets on any basketball games.